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Consent decree to cost Mississippi city more than $120M

A city council in Mississippi has voted to enter an agreement to avoid litigation by updating its sewer system at a cost of more than $120 million over the next 20 years.

News outlets report the Meridian City Council agreed to enter into a consent decree Tuesday with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.

The EPA found the city was in violation of the Clean Water Act. The agency cited Meridian for sanitary sewer overflows, or discharges of untreated storm water inadvertently discharged into Sowashee Creek.

The Meridian Director of Public Works, Hugh Smith, says an analysis had estimated that the city would need to increase water rates by 4.5-4.6 percent annually to pay for the system updates.

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